Worried that you won't be able to resist all those naughty chocolate treats over Easter?
There's no need to panic, says celebrity weight-loss expert Louise Parker, who has created some guilt-free Easter recipes to help you get over those sugar cravings.
"A good way to keep your cravings in check is to use cocoa [powder] without sugar," she says.
And if that doesn't rock your boat, then it's OK to indulge in chocolate every now and then - just as long as it's in moderation, reports Daily Mail.
Parker, who helped Oscar-winner Emma Thompson lose two dress sizes, advises: "Have one fabulous [chocolate] egg, enjoy it - and skip the ones you would eat without thinking.
A great tip is to smash your eggs up up on Easter Monday, freeze them - and you've got great ingredients for weekend bake-offs with the kids."
But if you're really planning on staying off the sugar altogether, here are some ideas:
Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
• 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
• 100g frozen cherries
• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon oatbran
• Semi-skimmed (1 or 2%) milk, or unsweetened soya milk, to taste
• Stevia, to taste
Blend all the ingredients except the milk and stevia together for one minute until smooth.
Adjust the amount of milk to achieve your desired consistency, then taste and sweeten with stevia to taste.
Chocolate French Toast with 'Vitality' Sauce
For the Vitality Sauce
• 300g of frozen summer berries
• 1 teaspoon of stevia
• Squeeze of lemon juice
• For the French Toast
• 4 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons milk
• ½ teasppon ground cinnamon
• 1-2teaspoons cocoa powder
• ½-1 teaspoon stevia
• 4 pieces of wholemeal bread, crusts on, each cut into 2 triangles
• 4 tiny knobs of unsalted butter
First make the sauce,
Always use frozen berries, as they're available all year round and are packed full of vitamins.
Simply throw the frozen berries in a pan, add the stevia and lemon juice, place over a medium heat and leave to simmer away for 3-5 minutes until it has reduced a little. Set aside to cool slightly.
Now take a bowl and whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, cocoa and stevia. Pour into a large flat dish and, in batches, soak each piece of bread for at least 1 minute on each side.
Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add a little knob of butter and swirl until the pan is coated in melted butter, then fry each slice on both sides until nicely brown and fluffy.
Serve the French toast with a generous helping of the vitality sauce spooned over the top.
Chocolate Cinnamon Almonds
Cinnamon is great for stabilising blood sugar levels. Batch bake these and pouch them up in little zip lock bags so you can grab a pack or two as you're running out of the door in the morning and enjoy on the move.
Each serving is 2 tablespoons. With a low-GI fruit, this is a great snack.
Chocolate cinnamon nuts (blurb in book on why these great, on the go, cinnamon great for stabilising blood sugar levels etc) - you can double up on the cinnamon and batch bake these and keep handful zip lock bags.
• 280g almonds, skin on
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
• ½ tablespoon stevia
• 1/2tablespoon ground cinnamon
• Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
Bake the almonds for 10 minutes, giving them a shake halfway through. Turn off the oven.
Place the almonds in a bowl with the cocoa., stevia and cinnamon and stir to coat well.
Return to the baking tray and leave to cool in the oven, with the door slightly ajar.
Cook completely, then store in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
I adore this recipe. But you can experiment with different quantities of spices, or try using chilli flakes instead of cayenne pepper.
• 1 heaped teaspoon cocoa powder
• ¼ teaspoon cornflour
• Pinch of ground cinnamon
• Pinch of ground nutmeg
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
• stevia, to taste
• 200 ml semi-skimmed milk or soya milk
Mix all the ingredients except the milk with 1 tablespoon of boiling water to make a very smooth paste
Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the paste.
Bring up the heat, not allowing it to boil, and whisk until the hot chocolate has thickened a little and is heated through.
For more information on Louise's programmes and method go to louiseparker.uk.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @figuremagician. Her book, Lean for Life: The Cookbook, is out now.